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Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Jan;6(1):21-30. Epub 2003 Nov 30.

Mammalian formin-1 participates in adherens junctions and polymerization of linear actin cables.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 300, New York, NY 10021-6399, USA.


During epithelial sheet formation, linear actin cables assemble at nascent adherens junctions. This process requires alpha-catenin and actin polymerization, although the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we show that formin-1 interacts with alpha-catenin, localizes to adherens junctions and nucleates unbranched actin filaments. Furthermore, disruption of the alpha-catenin-formin-1 interaction blocks assembly of radial actin cables and perturbs intercellular adhesion. A fusion protein of the beta-catenin-binding domain of alpha-catenin with the actin polymerization domains of formin-1 rescues formation of adherens junctions and associated actin cables in alpha-catenin-null keratinocytes. These findings provide new insight into how alpha-catenin orchestrates actin dynamics during intercellular junction formation.

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